Some history on Christmas Carols
Now that Christmas Carols are everywhere, I decided to do some history searches on them!
From the articles I learned that the ancient pagan songs were re-worked to become songs about Christ so that the people would learn to change their pagan ways.
Irving Berlin, who wrote “White Christmas” for the movie of the same name that was released in 1954 with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Irving Berlin was Jewish.
I had never seen this information before about Caroling -
The act of traveling to different homes comes from a different tradition altogether, albeit a similarly ancient one. In England, the word wassail — derived from the Old Norse ves heill meaning “be well, and in good health” — came to mean the wishing of good fortune on your neighbors. No one is quite sure when the custom began, but it did give us the song, “Here We Come-A-Wassailing” — sung as carolers wished good cheer to their neighbors in hopes of getting a gift in return. (“A Wassailing” also evolved into the popular “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” — its last verse, “Bring us some figgy pudding” stems from the wassailers’ original intent.)
The two traditions of singing and visiting first merged in Victorian England, as church carols began to merge with Christian folk music. At that time, it was far from a Christmas tradition; festivals like May Day were deemed worthy of caroling, too, but the repertoire as well as early records of this are pretty unclear. In the 19th Century, as Christmas became more commercialized and popular, publishers began churning out anthologies of carols, many which were ancient hymns, also circulating them in broadsheets
From http://www.time.com link below
I found this very interesting -
Probably one of the more well-known, mainstream Christmas hymns today is “Silent Night,” which was written in 1818 in Austria. As the story goes, on Christmas Eve Father Joseph Mohr, the pastor of St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, ran into a problem when the church organ broke. There would not be time to get it repaired before Christmas Mass, and faced with the prospect of Christmas services with no organ music, Mohr took a poem he had written two years before and asked the church organist, Franz Gruber, to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment to go with the poem. Thus “Silent Night” (“Stille Nacht”) was born and first sung that night at the church’s midnight Mass. (from the http://www.aquinasandmore.com/ link below)
Enjoy your Christmas Carols even more this year!
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